Robert House’s Path-Goal Theory is a variation of his Transactional Leadership Theory in which a leader is in complete command of an activity. The only variable factor is the manner of his direction. This article will present a detailed analysis of Path-Goal Theory which aims at helping leaders identify and choose the most appropriate leadership style depending on the current situation and what the team members want.
Path Goal Theory – What it Explores?
A leader being the only director of a particular task foresees a direction of achieving a goal and accordingly guides his or her team members. A leader may persuade, force, cajole, or command team members in treading this path in order to achieve an objective. In the process, members could either be rewarded or punished as per the wish of the leader. In this model, there is a goal to be achieved and a path is set towards achieving it.
With this as the backdrop, Robert House propounded his Path-Goal Theory based on expectancy theory of motivation. According to this theory, team members are motivated when they expect or believe that,